Harvard Health Letter

New knee helps your heart

Today's high-tech procedure offers more benefits.

Here's another reason to get that knee replacement you've been debating: A new study presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons finds that adults with osteoarthritis face lower odds of developing heart failure by having a total knee replacement. The study did not show a direct cause and effect or prove definitively that a total knee replacement (TKR) could improve cardiovascular health. However, the procedure does allow the recipient to exercise again, which can lead to better heart health.

Knee

Harriet Greenfield


And that's just one of the benefits of today's TKR.

"These days, total knee replacement lasts a long time. After 20 years of implantation, 80% of new joints survive. That's better than cars, washing machines and refrigerators," says Dr. Donald Reilly, assistant clinical professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

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